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  • Originally posted by byersmtrco View Post

    Mine was a "kit". I was in uncharted waters. Drum vs Disc. No comparison. Now I've had newer cars w/drum brakes that were ok. The drums on a 60 are too small. As prev stated the same as a 57. Almost 1000 lbs lighter.

    All I know is, I can stop in 1/2 the distance, safely, no wheels locking, no steering wheel pull, no nuthin. I have driven down steep grades.

    As we know with a cruise-o-Anchor, you can't drop her in 2nd to slow you down (only low) so ya gotta ride em.

    I got to the bottom of Hwy 9 ( a road in the Santa Cruz Mountains for all you non Calif folks) It's a fairly steep road. I stopped in Saratoga and my brakes weren't hot. They were warm, but not hot. Before, you'd come off that hill and those drums would be smokin!!! You could light a cigarette on one of the rear hubcaps.
    With the CRUISEOMATIC (FX/MX/HX), one can use engine braking on a downgrade by moving the shift lever into L. This will engage and lock into 2nd gear. If vehicle speed drops to twenty-five MPH, the trans will then engage 1st gear and will remain in 1st until the shift lever is moved to either D1 or D2 position.

    Comment


    • Would like all your thoughts on whether to only do disc brakes on the front? Or, do them on all 4 wheels?

      I've read in the Members Only section that some folks just do the fronts because that is where most of the stopping power comes from.

      Comment


      • Typically on disc/drum brakes 80% of the braking is done by the front disc brakes. That is why the rear brakes last so long on a combo system. I have a friend that has 2 1960 Birds and one as 4 wheel disc and the other has front discs only. I will ask him if he really feels the 4 wheel setup is worth the extra cost and work.
        Nyles

        Comment


        • update on my Granada backing plate rubbing/scraping problem:

          The new ball joint (ASP brand?) looked great and had a thicker base than the original replacement I had in the A-arm. The bolts supplied in the kit were too short by about 1/4 inch and the nuts were too large to fit on top. Bought new bolts and nuts and installed the new ball joint.

          Didn't help the rubbing of the backing plate against the rotor any - in fact it made it worse. Now it rubs in even a slight turn and sometimes in a straight line.

          Took the ball joint out that I had just bought and re-installed the old replacement ball joint that I had in there originally (Kanter?). Beat the end of the A-arm back some before installing the old ball joint. Seems to have helped the rubbing a little to re-shape the end of the A-arm but still rubs on the opposite side of the turn in a sharp turn either direction. (left side rubs in a right hand turn and right side rubs in a sharp left turn).

          I have a camera that I'll mount in there later this fall and see what is causing the suspension to move enough to push the backing plate into the rotor. Hard to imagine since it's all new. Really think it's just the different geometry on the Granada spindles. Until then I'm just going to enjoy the car for a while and not worry about a little rubbing. Might be cured by installing a wider shim behind the rotor on the axle but the camera view should tell.


          Eric

          Comment


          • Eric, the original spindles have stops (one on the RH and one on the LH side):


            You can see them more clearly on the lower "A" arms than you can on the spindles. Could it be that your Granada spindle stops need to be 'built-up"? If so and by the sounds of your situation, it wouldn't need much more metal. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            From: Royal Oak, Michigan

            Comment


            • Dave - that's something I hadn't really considered. Could just limit the range of the spindles so they don't get to the point where the rotor scrapes. I'll bet the Granada and Tbird limit bumps were not in the same place. It takes "40 Acres" to turn this thing around already so would like to find another solution if possible but thanks for the idea.

              Your Galaxie has Granada spindles doesn't it? Don't the Tbird and Galaxie share the same upper and lower A-arms? Do you have the backing plates have you ever noticed your rotors scraping them in sharp turns?

              Looking further my Granada backing plates have a "scoop" for pulling air on to the rotors (which is the main reason I put them back on). Looks like the scoops could be contacting the sway bar and distorting the backing plate at the bottom causing the scrape. I'm wondering if the setup Grant is working on with Versailles spindles will have the same problem. Don't think there are many folks out there with the Granada spindles on the Tbird for comparison. I need to get my camera in there and see if I can tell what's going on but I'm itching to drive the car for a while and quit trying to "prefect" it.

              Eric

              Comment


              • Granada spindles are wonderful. I have never heard one complaint about their strength or performance. They fit a host of Ford cars and decades of history proved that Ford got disk brakes 'right the first time'. Aftermarket companies reproduce these 'Mustang' spindles, today. They also have no clue as to how many classic Fords these spindles fit.

                I installed them on our '55 Customline, which have slightly different and very LONG lower "A" arms. I used the Granada back plates with the elephant ear air scoops.

                Our '55 is a full size Ford Fordor with a very long wheelbase and a full frame. The car came with 15" tires. Fairlanes came with 16" wheels as std equipment.

                1955 was a transitional period in Ford Car history:
                It was the last year Ford used 6 volt, POS ground.
                Thunderbird was introduced in '55 (on a full-size Ford frame).
                Fairlane (with the iconic 'check mark' on the side) was introduced in '55.

                Our '59 Galaxie has the same spindles as Squarebirds. I kept those spindles and retrofit Scarebird brackets in place of the OEM drum setup. I would have used Granada spindles but I couldn't find a set cheaper than the Scarebird brackets at the time. - Dave
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                Comment


                • mmmmm interesting

                  Dave may be on to the problem. I will look at my stock set of spindles in the shop and see if I can make a determinaion on the stops. Eric what is rubbing? is it the inner dust shield against the rotor and is it at the bottom of the shield or can you tell? My scoops are rubber and pop right out so if that is the problem I can rectify it.
                  Grant
                  Ps one thing leads to another. Went to put the self adjusters on the back and didn't like the job a shop had done on the brakes. I now have new drums, brake shoes, all the springs, while you have it apart led to new axle bearings and seals. But hey I know what is in there now.
                  Grant
                  NCbird on the Coast of NC
                  "Dads Bird" for my father

                  Comment


                  • observations

                    Pulled a stock spindle and checked the stop on the steering arm. Crawled under the car (its on jack stands) and have the following observations. The steering arms on the Versailles are shorter and sit higher in relation to the lower A frame. When turned hard over my arms don't touch the stop on the A frame. This allows the wheel to turn far enough for the scoop to hit the sway bar. In fact I can get the tire to touch the bar. I have the aftermarket HD sway bar for reference. I will be building stops. Hope I didn't muddy the water but thanks Dave.
                    Grant
                    Grant
                    NCbird on the Coast of NC
                    "Dads Bird" for my father

                    Comment


                    • BINGO!
                      So, I'm thinking... if your OEM spindle arms were too high, the tires would scrape as well. Ok, that's why stops are absolutely necessary.

                      I really like the idea that the arms are shorter because they are more responsive to steering wheel motion, with fewer turns lock-to-lock. The down side is, you need more power steering boost in parking lots. Even so, I would prefer the shorter arms because they are more compatible with rack and pinion gears.

                      Glad you got this mystery solved, Grant. Maybe you can have a small 'tab' welded to the existing stops. If we were closer I would weld them for you. - Dave
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                      Comment


                      • offer

                        Thanks for the offer Dave, I do wish we were closer. I bought a baby mig a while back just for this kind of project. It is a 120v so I can take it to the car. My other mig is 240 and a beast. I will take a look at an adjustable. stop along the lines of jeep first.
                        Grant
                        NCbird on the Coast of NC
                        "Dads Bird" for my father

                        Comment


                        • steering arm stop

                          Well I have dropped all the steering so i can send the cylinder, control valve and steering box out to Red Head
                          steering in Seattle. They built the box in my F250 and are big with the superduty crowd. With that done it was simple to get my steering stops installed. I turned the wheels till the arm hit and marked the current stop. I then drilled and tapped a 5/16 hole in the current stop. With that done I can screw in a bolt with a nut to lock it down. My new stop is adjustable and will allow me to get as much as possible and still avoid the rub. This appears to be a problem only with the Granada/Versailles spindles.
                          Attached Files
                          Grant
                          NCbird on the Coast of NC
                          "Dads Bird" for my father

                          Comment


                          • I love it, Grant...
                            Good work! - Dave
                            My latest project:
                            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                            --Lee Iacocca

                            From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by tbird430 View Post
                              I like my drum brakes. I just always try to over anticipate what might happen in front of me. I allow more space and time to react. I do hate the fact that from time to time my Bird will pull left/right slightly....

                              I though someone on here said they used 14" steel wheels off a 1999-ish Ford Ranger? They bolted right on, cleared calipers, held the stock hubcaps, & were plentiful in the salvage yards....
                              i use the ranger rims but still have the drums
                              1959 Thunderbird 397ci
                              Cruise-O-Matic
                              Flamingo Pink.
                              Thunderbird Registry #8442
                              Daily driver

                              Comment


                              • I used these. They were on a 90's Ranger at a local bone yard but aftermarket I guess? Had some grinding to do on the calipers to get everything to fit properly.
                                Regards,
                                Don Vincent
                                Amherst NY
                                1960 HT 352
                                TBird Registry 34042

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